The Veda clearly distinguishes between Shudra and Arya. For example:

A.V., iv.20.4. — “The thousand-eyed god shall put this plant into my right hand; with that do I see everyone, the Shudra as well as the Arya.”

Kathaka Samhita, xxxiv.5— “The Shudra and the Arya quarrel about the skin. The gods and the demons quarrelled about the sun; the gods won it (the sun). (By this act of quarrelling with Shudras) the Arya makes the Arya Varna win, makes himself successful. The Arya shall be inside the .altar, the Shudra outside the altar. The skin shall be white, circular- the form of the sun.”

Vajasaneyi Samhita, xxiii.30 -31— “When a deer eats the barley in the field, the (owner of the field) is not pleased with the nourished animal; when a Shudra woman has an Arya as a lover, (the husband) does not long for (the consequent) prosperity. When a deer eats barley, the (owner of the field) does not approve of the nourished animal. When a Shudra is the lover of an Arya woman, the (husband) does not consent to the prosperity.

Now Arya in Vedas refers to upper castes, and in one case, specifically Vaishya varna. Then Vedas say:

krnvanto vishwam āryam

Make the whole world Arya

So does Veda give any mechanism like specific mantra, puja, sacrifice etc. for bringing Shudra into Brahmin, Kshatriya or Vaishya varnas? EDIT —— Here is another verse from Rig Veda (vi.22.10) varna change

यया॒ दासा॒न्यार्या॑णि वृ॒त्रा करो॑ वज्रिन्त्सु॒तुका॒ नाहु॑षाणि ॥

“Oh, Vajri, thou hast made Aryas of Dasas, good men out of bad by your power. Give us the same power so that with it we may overcome our enemies.” हे (वज्रिन्) ... आप (यया) जिससे (दासानि) शूद्र के कुलों को (आर्याणि) द्विजकुल


  • 1
    upgrade varna in the same birth, or over multiple births ? It's like going from class 1 to class 10. It will take 10 years. Very hard to do within 1 year unless they are child prodigy - which just means that they already studied class 1-9 in previous birth and due to some mishap got demoted to class 1.
    – ram
    Jan 13, 2022 at 23:24
  • @mar stop trolling. Nowhere it says to make whole world Arya AFTER REINCARNATION OF WHOLE WORLD... or Dasas/Shudras were made Arya AFTER DEATH... varna migration in same birth is mentioned repeatedly in Veda, Purana, Itihasa, Rahasya and Tantra shastras (ALL SACRED SCRIPTURES, smritis are not sacred).... so the comparison you made of 5 year old child with underdeveloped brain is not only abuse, but also bogus
    – R. Kaushik
    Jan 14, 2022 at 1:50
  • 1
    You can get promoted or demoted in next life depending on how you act in current life. Your final results are only given after annual exam, not after quarterly or mid-term.
    – ram
    Jan 14, 2022 at 1:57
  • @mar flagged. Varna migration in same birth is mentioned repeatedly in Veda, Purana, Itihasa, Rahasya and Tantra shastras (ALL SACRED SCRIPTURES, smritis are not sacred). This is not the place for your opinion-based politics
    – R. Kaushik
    Jan 14, 2022 at 1:59
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    @R.Kaushik I know that smritis are quite interpolated , but that doesn't mean they are anti - vedic , anti- itihasa . In ramayana , when Lord Ram gives lecture on dharma to Bali , he uses manusmriti as reference . Also vedas say whatever manu said is medicine - hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/31997/…
    – Raghav
    Jan 15, 2022 at 4:05

2 Answers 2


Nowhere in the Veda you find that Varna is based on birth.

Here's what निरालम्ब उपनिषत् (number 34 of the Muktika canon) says-

जातिरिति च । न चर्मणो न रक्तस्य न मांसस्य न चास्थिनः ।
न जातिरात्मनो जातिर्व्यवहारप्रकल्पिता ॥ १० ॥ - निरालम्ब उपनिषद्

जाति (शरीर के) चर्म, रक्त, मांस, अस्थियों और आत्मा की नहीं होती। उसकी (मानव, पशु-पक्षी या ब्राह्मण, क्षत्रिय आदि जाति की प्रकल्पना तो केवल व्यवहार के निमित्त की गई है ॥ १० ॥

Caste is not of skin, blood, flesh, bones and soul. Caste doesn't belong to Atman either. Caste has been conceived only for the sake of worldy conduct.

Here's what वज्रसूची उपनिषत् says-

ॐ वज्रसूचीं प्रवक्ष्यामि शास्त्रमज्ञानभेदनम् ।
दूषणं ज्ञानहीनानां भूषणं ज्ञानचक्षुषाम् ॥ १॥

I now proceed to declare the vajrasUchi - the weapon that is the destroyer of ignorance- which condemns the ignorant and praises the man of divine vision.

ब्राह्मक्षत्रियवैष्यशूद्रा इति चत्वारो वर्णास्तेषां वर्णानां ब्राह्मण एव प्रधान इति वेदवचनानुरूपं स्मृतिभिरप्युक्तम् । तत्र चोद्यमस्ति को वा ब्राह्मणो नाम किं जीवः किं देहः किं जातिः किं ज्ञानं किं कर्म किं धार्मिक इति ॥

There are four varnas - the brAhmaNa, the kShatriya, the vaishya, and the shudra . Even the smritis declare in accordance with the words of the vedas that the brAhmaNa alone is the most important of them.

Then this needs to be examined . What is meant by the brAhmaNa ? Is it a jIva ? Is it a body ? Is it a jati ? It is j~nAna ? Is it karma ? Or is it a doer of Dharma ?

तत्र प्रथमो जीवो ब्राह्मण इति चेत् तन्न । अतीतानागतानेकदेहानां जीवस्यैकरूपत्वात् एकस्यापि कर्मवशादनेकदेहसंभवात् सर्वशरीराणां जीवस्यैकरूपत्वाच्च । तस्मात् न जीवो ब्राह्मण इति ॥

To begin with : is jIva the brAhmaNa ? No . Since the jiva is the same in the many past and future bodies (of all persons), and since the jIva is the same in all of the many bodies obtained through the force of karma, there jIva is not the brAhmaNa.

तर्हि देहो ब्राह्मण इति चेत् तन्न । आचाण्डालादिपर्यन्तानां मनुष्याणां पञ्चभौतिकत्वेन देहस्यैकरूपत्वात् जरामरणधर्माधर्मादिसाम्यदर्शनत् ब्राह्मणः श्वेतवर्णः क्षत्रियो रक्तवर्णो वैश्यः पीतवर्णः शूद्रः कृष्णवर्णः इति नियमाभावात् । पित्रादिशरीरदहने पुत्रादीनां ब्रह्महत्यादिदोषसंभवाच्च । तस्मात् न देहो ब्राह्मण इति ॥

Then is the body the brAhmaNa ? No . Since the body, as it is made up of the five elements, is the same for all people down to chaNdAla-s, etc., since old age and death, dharma and adharma are found to be common to them all, since there is no absolute distinction that the brAhmaNas are white-colored, the kShatriyas red, the vaishyas yellow, and the shudras dark, and since in burning the corpse of his father, etc., the stain of the murder of a brAhmaNa, etc., will accrue to the son, etc., therefore the body is not the brAhmaNa.

  • Thanks for this - I didn't know another Upanishad also said jati is based on conduct only!
    – R. Kaushik
    Jan 14, 2022 at 21:36

Varna is a measure of a man's moral standing. It is possible to go up in the Varna scale.

Sage Pulastya said,"..by vows, by investiture of the sacred, by fasts, by rites, and by Mantras, one becometh a Brahmana."

(Mahabharata, Aranya Parva LXXXIII)

One has to transcend the Varnas, i.e. the Gunas, if one wants to attain moksha.

The embodied spirit (Jiva), having transcended the Gunas from which the body has sprung, gains deliverance from the miseries of birth, death and old age, and attains to Immortality.

Bhagavad Gita 14.20

  • Please give answer as per Vedas only if you know. And "Gita" can refer to Shiv Gita, Ribhu Gita, Ram Gita, Avdhoot Gita and many others so please specify
    – R. Kaushik
    Jan 14, 2022 at 21:37

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